tv Idaho Governor Butch Otter Delivers State of the State Address CSPAN February 7, 2017 6:27pm-7:00pm EST
vice president mike pence was in the senate chamber and cast the final vote to break the tie. senate also voted to advance the nomination of senator jeff sessions to be the next u.s. attorney general. if all debate time is used, a final confirmation vote could happen at about 6:50 p.m. eastern tomorrow evening. after that, the chamber will then move on to consider congressman tom price to head health and human services department and steve mnuchin as treasurer secretary. live coverage of the u.s. senate is on c-span 2. coming up next from boise, idaho, governor butch otter with his annual message to state lawmakers. you can watch more state of the state speeches at c-span.org by typing your state in the search bar. >> honored guests, friends, my family and, of course, our first lady, miss lori.
before i begin, allow me to add my welcome and my best wishes for all the new members of the legislature joining us here today. thank each of you for bringing your life experiences and your unique perspectives to our important work here in the people's house. also, i have the privilege today of introducing newly elected supreme court justice robin brodin to this chamber and to the idaho judiciary. congratulations, madam justice. [ applause ] the new year also brings some key departures from our executive branch of government. i'm sure you will join me in wishing kevin kemp god speed in his new national responsibilities after two eventful and successful years as the director of the department
of corrections. we are also losing sam hodge to a well deserved retirement from the office of aging. and kelly pierce's experience and leadership will be missed with his recent retirement as administrator of the division of building safety. i extend my thanks and best wishes to each and every one of them. finally, this will be the last legislative session for dick armstrong as director of the department of health and welfare. his stalwart and tireless leadership has set a high standard for whoever takes on that difficult and often thankless responsibility next. dick will be retiring in june and he'll be leaving big shoes to fill. dick, i wish you god speed.
ladies and gentlemen, it is my high honor and privilege to report to you today that the state of idaho is resurgent and, in fact, is gaining national reputation among the states for our stability and our strength. our finances are secure. revenue is exceeding expectations. economic growth is outpacing the overall growth of government and our own operations are more transparent and efficient than they've ever been. more of our people are at work today than at any time in idaho's history. and wages are rising, slowly but surely, along with employer demand for more skilled workers. meeting that demand is among our most serious challenges. we are facing it head on.
and i know that you share my commitment to finding idaho based solutions rather than waiting for our national government's dysfunction to get turned around. so as we honor that spirit of independence, and self-determination, i can testify to you today that our citizens are energized and engaged in growing our economy. and improving our communities, caring for our families and neighbors, but most importantly, preparing our youth for a rapidly changing world. seldom has the future seemed either as hopeful or as uncertain as it is today. or that any state government, it is beyond any state government to bring our national government into order. but it is our responsibility and our duty as elected leaders to preserve and protect the steady framework of opportunity that the people of idaho need in order to confidently pursue
their dreams and freely express their civic virtue. that's why such a large share of the executive budget recommendation you have before you continue addressing our five-year plan for improving idaho public schools as well as our efforts to create a seamless, sustainable education and training system extending from kindergarten through career for every idaho citizen. my budget recommendations are about more than fulfilling our shared commitments and implementing our task force recommendations. they are more than just about living up to our constitutional responsibilities. they are even more than providing for the skilled workforce that our employers need. ultimately, my education funding proposals are about doing the right thing. for the next generation of idahoans and laying a foundation for their retirement, refinements and adjustments to keep pace with a dynamic global
marketplace. so allow me to briefly outline some of the most crucial parts of this next round of investments. my first and most significant recommendation is for an ongoing allocation of $58 million, implementing the career ladder pay model for our public school teachers. along with the $75 million that we invested in that effort during the past two years, this new and largest tranche will keep us on track in reaching our five-year funding goal for attracting and retaining more of the best and brightest educators available. i'm also calling for an ongoing investment of $2.5 million a year for leadership training of principals in low performing
schools and another $2.5 million a year to train school administrators on idaho teacher evaluation framework and process. as we work to improve the competitiveness of the idaho teacher pay, it is critical that we have a solid basis for rewarding excellence. looking beyond the recent challenges that we've experienced with teacher evaluation, this training will help ensure that school administrators can professionally, thoroughly and meaningfully assess teacher effectiveness and help guide their professional growth. another of my k-12 budget recommendations is for $15 million to help school districts cover the cost of higher health insurance premiums for their employees. that will help them avoid having to backfill those costs from discretionary funds that we only recently reinstalled in the wake
of the great recession. our task force recommendations call for investing a total of $60 million a year in classroom technology statewide. we've allocated $18 million so far, so now i'm asking for $10 million a year more in starting in fiscal year 2018 for achieving our remaining technology funding goal more manageable. there's also an ongoing $6 million request in my executive budget for improving teacher professional development and the opportunities therein. the idea is to ensure that teachers have the time regularly to share lesson plans and instructional resources, collaborate with each other and learn from one another's works and what works best in the classroom. my funding recommendation additionally includes another $5 million for expanding and improving college and career counseling in high schools.
based upon our rising college enrollment rate, that kind of investment helping more students, parents and educators determine the most appropriate options for enabling young people to go on to higher education or career technical training and certification. i'm also urging you to continue supporting the st.e.m. action center and its groundbreaking computer science initiative. they already having a a significant impact on thousands of educators and tens of thousands of students. but the demand is there to expand their reach and to help ensure that every idaho student and teacher gets the chance to embrace the s.t.e.m. fields and the tremendous growth of career opportunities that they provide. thank you, bob.
proficiency in science, technology, engineering and math form an increasingly significant link between k-12 and career readiness. s.t.e.m. education is critical to developing those skills most in demand in today's workplace. sometimes the challenge and complexity of a life interrupt our best plans for pursuing our own career opportunities including our good intentions to complete a college degree within a traditional four- or five-year span. so my budget recommendation once again and for 2018 includes funding for an adult completer scholarship. it will provide an incentive for those with some college credits who have been away at least three years to return to the classroom and finish up. it's an important part of our strategy for reaching the ambitious and worthy goal of ensuring that at least 60% of idahoans between the ages of 25
and 34 have a college degree or a certification by 2020. in pursuit of that goal, i'm recommending the transfer of $35 million to the permanent building fund for higher education, education facilities throughout the state. that includes $10 million for the career material science center at boise state university. that includes $10 million for the university of idaho to build a fund for agricultural food and environment for the cafe in magic valley. it includes $10 million for lewis and clark state college to construct a career technical education building adjacent to the proposed new lewiston high school cte facility and finally $5 million toward remodelling the gayle life sciences building at the idaho state university campus in pocatella. let me call your attention now
and encourage your support for an effort to make postsecondary education in eastern idaho more affordable for students, more competitive for businesses, and more attractive and responsive to employers' needs. i'm speaking of course -- [ applause ] i'm speaking of course of the campaign to turn eastern idaho technical college in idaho falls into a full-fledged community college. establishing a college in eastern idaho will spur economic growth and complete a comprehensive statewide system of affordable community colleges options along with the northern idaho community college, the college of southern idaho, and the college of western idaho. this completes the cycle. this body has already set aside $5 million for start-up costs. now the people of bonneville
county must decide at the polls in may whether to invest their own future by advancing plans to provide better opportunities for students and families for those looking to improve their career readiness and for businesses looking to locate or expand. after seeing the difference that the college of western idaho has made right here in treasure valley, after seeing how quickly that cwi has grown to meet pent-up demand for new educational opportunities, and after seeing the overwhelming positive response from employers, the college of eastern idaho campaign has my full and enthusiastic support. [ applause ] for those of you in canyon county, i also support and urge your positive consideration of the college of western idaho's effort to expand its napa campus and build a new campus here in
boise. cwi is bursting at the seams with an enrollment of 20,000 students just eight years after opening with 1,200 students. the employers who provide jobs and tax revenue here in the valley are relying on your help to meet that need. my other higher education budget priorities continue to reflect a k-12 career emphasis. they focus on workforce government and expanding programs at the four-year institutions and community colleges that support such in demand career fields as energy, computer science, and health care professionals. that includes $2.4 million request to expand the residency program in the graduate medical education that are needed to address our chronic shortage of physicians and other health care providers especially in idaho's more rural areas.
as many of you know, idaho ranks near the bottom nationally in number of doctors and medical residents per capita. in addition, a significant percentage of our physicians are approaching retirement age. but we also know there's a better than average chance that when aspiring physicians do their residencies in idaho they will stay in idaho to practice. that's why i'm grateful for the work of the stakeholder group in developing a plan for increasing medical residencies and implementing other solutions to idaho's physician shortage. that includes significantly leveraging my request for expanding residency programs with federal funds. a genuinely historic development toward making health care more accessible for all idahoans is idaho college of osteopathic medicine. idaho's first medical school is being developed on the idaho state university health sciences
campus in meridian with construction to begin early this year. they plan to have its first class of students with their studies in 2018. it already has secured 78 new residency positions for eventual graduates at hospitals throughout the region with more on the way. so i hope you will join me in embracing the opportunity and welcoming this important new institution to idaho. [ applause ] i also want to offer my thanks and congratulations to the community leaders responsible for making our behavioral health crisis center program such a tremendous success. a third of our community facilities opened in twin falls about a month ago. it already joined sites operating in idaho falls and coeur d'alene and a fourth is in the work in boise in providing
accessible and cost effective alternatives to jail or emergency room visits for those struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues. they are providing significant savings on law enforcement responses and hospital costs and already have become critical parts of the local system of care. my budget recommendation includes $1.5 million to cover the remaining cost of standing up to twin falls and boise facilities. once again, these are investments that can save our communities millions of dollars a year on the cost of emergency services. that means less stress on local taxpayers. to continue improving our statewide mental health system, i'm also requesting $10.3 million to build an adolescent mental health facility in treasure valley. that would also cover the cost of remodeling a unit at state hospital south in blackfoot as a secure mental health facility.
now let's talk for a minute about spending priorities and living within the people's means. it's no surprise that we all want tax relief. for some it's a top priority in this legislation session. but i would remind you that together we have reduced the burden of citizens on taxes during this tenure, in fact, since 2010 about $1 billion. and you'll soon have legislation before you to reduce the tax base rate for unemployment insurance paid by idaho employers by 6.3% this year. now, that's $46 million in tax relief in the coming year alone and $115 million over the next three years. [ applause ] i'm as committed as ever to
limiting the size in the growth of our state government and we should continue to make many of the efficiencies realized during the great recession a part of our standard operations. but i also understand the cost of failing to invest prudently and substantially in our future. so i will not entertain anything that undermines our commitment to meeting the essential state government functions. and at the top of that list is our investments in improving education and career readiness in idaho. we are not alone in our effort to build and improve idaho's workforce. from s.t.e.m. education to advanced research, we have a strong partner in the idaho national laboratory. it was great to hear recently that a $1.6 billion state-of-the-art facility for handling spent fuel from the navy's nuclear warships will soon be built there.
now we're working to strengthen the capabilities of our colleges and universities by collaborating on one of our most complex challenges, addressing the growing threat of cyberattacks like the one that was against the fish and game online licensing system just last year. you soon will be seeing the work product of the cybersecurity task force led by lieutenant governor little, and i ask you to take its findings seriously because make no mistake, we got off lucky last time. cyber crime and even cyber warfare are very real and growing threats. the next hack here in idaho could target more critical infrastructure including our electrical grid, industrial control systems, military equipment, or even our own personal vehicles. they're a world leader in cyber security and our partnerships there are positioning three
universities to be on the cutting edge of addressing the global challenges. work already is under way to establish and expand a joint cyber lab that i proposed and you funded last year. but we can do more to protect ourselves and secure our future. so now i'm encouraging the legislature to express its support for an even more substantial step toward idaho leadership and cybersecurity, super computing, and new nuclear technologies. the state board of education and the idaho national lab and our universities are working to finance and build two world class research facilities near the center for advanced energy studies in idaho falls. the cyber corps and the collaborative computing center will be financed and owned by the state but paid for by inel through lease payments. those payments would continue for decades long after the buildings are paid off. providing another continuing
revenue stream for higher education. but this initiative will pay dividends far beyond our budget. it will help to address our workforce needs by growing a talent pipeline for inel and related idaho industries. and perhaps most important, it will enable some of idaho's best and brightest students to find high-paying career opportunities right here at home. [ applause ] folks, we all aspire to be more self-reliant. we strive for it in our personal lives as well as in the operation of our state government. few federal edicts in recent years have been more intrusive, more damaging, or more harmful to our self-determination than the affordable care act. there is broad agreement in this body on the need to help tens of
thousands of idahoans with incomes too high to qualify for obamacare subsidies but too low to afford the health care coverage on their own. just as little support for expanding medicaid. i understand that. it would mean suborder naturing our idaho priorities to the palm of federal dollars and neither the national government nor taxpayers can afford either. so beyond continuing to seek elusive answers to the policy questions that we've been asking for years, we now have the option of waiting to see what the trump administration and congress will do with obamacare. while we wait, i encourage you to seek ways to make idaho left dependent on the feds. that includes building a local partnership and encouraging marketplace innovation that's address our idaho goals of
improving health care accessibility and affordable. however, i believe that waiting in this case is not entirely an exercise in kicking and oversized can down the road. i mentioned earlier that our immediate future is mark bid hope and uncertainty. nowhere is that dichotomy more striking than the leadership in washington, d.c. while few people know just what to expect from president-elect or his cab necessary, i am far more hopeful than anxious about the promise of the new and better day in a regulationship between the federal government and the states. dealing -- dealing with obamacare should only be start. this is unchartered territory. there is no history or precedent from which to draw a path
forward. i for one look forward to the years ahead to see renewal of a national commit ment to the principles of federalism of which our system of government was founded. for years now we in the west have been frustrated by the increasing impositions of federal government's will over our livelihoods and the quality of our life. regulatory bureaucracies and interests have become practiced at reaching far beyond the letter of such laws as the clean air act, the clean water act, the endangered species act to essentially nullify the common sense stewardship of states and local jurisdictions. i am optimistic that president-elect trump and his team will work to ensure that meaningful reforms are implemented to keep such agencies as the epa, the vlm, forest service, u.s. fish and wildlife service in check. their focus must be shifted to working more collaboratively
with states to develop national policies that are flexible enough to accommodate local needs and realities. i recently provided the new administration with detailed advice on improving will federal approach to protecting the sage grouse and habitat, delisting grizzly bars and developing needed energy infrastructure like the gateway west electrical transmission project in southern idaho. i hope my advice will not fall on deaf ears. idaho has an exemplary record of protecting and managing our own natural resources, our own citizens and communities have specific virtue and the proven know how to ensure that lands and resources are responsibly use r used for the long term economic and rememberingational
opportunities they can provided. now i'm not advocating for the state to take over more than 60% of idaho owned to the federal government. but we should continue to expand on the effort wez made so far to realize the potential of idaho values as active manage ment, local stewardship. our initiative to improve water sustainability is a great example of how idaho can do very well caring for our own needs without punitive federal oversight. simply put, states need the opportunity to be full and equal partners in decisions that affect the land, water, wildlife, and other resources within our borders. states must be the architect ofs of our own destiny. we in idaho already are making great use of the rare
opportunities where real collaboration with the state is actually encouraged by the feds. good example, good neighbor authority granted under the 2014 farm bill invites idaho to increase the pace and scale of forest and water shed restoration on federal forests. under agreements reached throughout program, idaho is paying a -- playing a more active role in improferring the health of our intermingled timber lands much that's reducing fuels and the threat to communities and water sheds from catastrophic wildfires while creating more jobs and economic benefits for our own citizens. i'm not recommending so i am recommending the allocation of $250,000 for additional forresters to keep advancing that effort. thanks to your support, the land fire protection program has been growing in popularity and impact. there are eight gripes now
organize sod far throughout southern idaho. the blm program provides training and equipment for local ranchers and another land owners to offer that help that stopped the fires before they can devastate the landscape. in the past year about 250 idaho ranchers provided fire resistance on more than 7.7 million acres of federal, state, and private lands. as a fringe benefit, letting them protect the land from which they draw hir livelihoods, preserves the safe grouse from habitat destroying fire, the single biggest throat their survival. folks, federalism can and does work. but only when it involves willing partners. this past election has provided us here in the west with a window of opportunity to make broader and better collaboration between the federal and state
governments a reality. voters have expressed the desire for government that works, both here in boise and also in washington, d.c. they're tired of timid representation that seems more concerned with the next election than the next generation. then when government reflects their highest aspirations and understands that individuals as well as states must have both the tools and the freedom to rise up and meet their own best potential. and the recent national elections, if they taught us anything, it's that the people are still in charge. not special interests. noted news media or political parties. i'm proud that idahoans voted in support of real and substantial change in our national government. and against the stuck in the mud business as usual.
now we put the lessons to work for idaho. now it's time to recognize the differences and that we may have policy and personalities or in priorities. do not mean differences in principle. more than ever, we now have the opportunity and the responsibility as citizens to help secure idaho's future. so good luck. thank you for your attention. your talents and your willingness to serve. my door is always open and i look forward to your consideration conscientious and constructive work during the legislature. may god continue to bless idaho and the united states of america. the u.s. senate confirmed betsy devos as the secretary. the vote was 51-50.
mike pence was in the senate chamber and cast the final vote to break the sigh. jeff sessions will be the next attorney general. if all debate time sused, a final confirmation vote could happen at about 6:50 p.m. eastern tomorrow evening. after that, the chamber then will move on to consider congressman tom price to head the health and human services department and stephen manuchin as treasury secretary. live coverage of the u.s. senate son c-span2. we continue with our coverage of the state of state speeches with kate brown giving her 40 minute address. she calls her more invest ment and education and transportation infrastructure. >> good morning, everyone. i'm glad you were able to join us. i was a little worried yesterday that we might have an empty chamber today. thank you madam speaker and